Fancy Coffee Friday: Miracle of Modern Technology

The Amusing Muse, Fancy Coffee Friday: Miracle of Modern TechnologyI’m not generally an early, or enthusiastic, adopter of new technology. The words, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” typically rattle around my head when I see something shiny and new on the television or in stores. There is, however, one exception that I’d longed after for many years: a dishwasher. Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Disconnected

Fancy Coffee Friday: DisconnectedPerhaps it is just being a woman of a certain age. Perhaps it’s having grown up with a single, dial telephone in the house until I was a teenager. Maybe it’s even the fact that the internet-for-the masses didn’t really exist until I was 18 and in college, so I straddled that line between getting hand-written letters (still love them) and shiny-new emails. But, I found myself the other day, after reading yet another article about fake news, saying, “I think it’s time to remove some apps from my phone.”

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Food Is Love

10-feb-2017The other week I was driving back from a conference I attended, and I decided to stop off for some frozen custard to bring home. Since this is Wisconsin, it’s not difficult to find a Culver’s, which I did and picked up a gallon of vanilla. Stopping for custard got me thinking about two very different views when it comes to food. Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Take a Deep Breath

03-feb-2017Well, Hello, there. Nice to see you. Sit back, relax, have a warm beverage (it’s probably cold where you are). Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: I Agree To Disagree

27-jan-2017

Opinion
o·pin·ion
əˈpinyən/

A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
1. the beliefs of views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing.
2. an estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something.

Apparently, last week’s post struck a nerve with some readers. I don’t think I express a rigid opinion very often on this blog, but it is funny to see the fall-out when I do express one.

I also find it funny that some people get so bent out of shape over an opinion of another that they “storm off”. It’s almost as if people fail to see that opinions can change if the holder of said opinion is presented with facts to dispel the beliefs they once held. I’m talking actual facts, too, not “alternative facts” ala George Orwell.

So, if you found last week’s post offensive and you’re still here – thank you for having an open mind. I encourage everyone under this new regime administration to remain vigilant. Hold your legislators to task. And call bullshit on the lies.

And, since the movie “Braveheart” (a movie about Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace) saw it’s 20th anniversary last year, I leave you with this today:


The Amusing Muse is a writer who would like to remind readers of this, her personal blog, that this is her “home”, and you ARE free to leave whenever you want. Also, not sorry about the cat hair – they’ve been here for the last 18 years and that’s not going to change until they’re dead. Besides, there will still be cat hair around long after that.
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Fancy Coffee Friday: Limber Up

20-jan-2017I have an excuse for not watching the inauguration of the 45th President of the USA: I was getting my hair done.

Also, Facebook and Twitter have been utterly depressing as of late with the avalanche of bad tidings. I fell asleep last night with my stomach in knots because Marmalade Mussolini* was going to step onto the diaz today and I fear for what is coming. Curiously enough, I also had a meeting with my financial advisor this morning and after going over a few things, I asked what his thoughts were about the outlook financially with “today’s impending events”.

My spirits were buoyed only slightly, which he said that he anticipates that these first two years will be okay financially. However, he thinks that a lot of the tax issues will result in a major deficit, Congress will begin to rein things in back to where they should be, and we’ll be worse off. He said that things will be much worse for school age children and young adults.

We spoke of racial tensions, privilege – yes, THAT privilege: “White Privilege”. And how, for some reason, there are a lot of Usonians who have the impression that you succeed in life on merit alone. Sorry folks, merit only gets you so far. Remember the famous quote, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know“? That’s how the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

For better or for worse, that’s a significant lesson to learn; my gut feeling is that Orange Foolius* didn’t become successful because he’s a nice person. I’m a nice person, but the opportunities that have come my way are because I know people and meet people. They get to know me, see my work or talents, and from there, the opportunities arise. Afterall, I’m only walking around with an Associate of Science degree – so it’s not like I can just apply for any job waving a sheet of paper.

No, I gotta hustle. I gotta crawl out from under my rock, press-the-flesh (you know… shaking hands… not, other things), and get out my no-bullshit, shoot-from-the-hip personality to the masses.

Fortunately for all of you, I don’t go around making shit up about what I know and what I don’t know, otherwise I’d have been put in charge of the nation’s nuclear arsenal like Rick Perry. Maybe not… there had to be some significant ass-kissage to get that offer, and no thank you.

So, whether you voted for Sunkist Stalin* or not, I truly believe we’re all going to need a huge bottle of lube to get through the next four years of ass-reaming. I sincerely hope that won’t be the case, but it hasn’t looked good since November 2016.

We need to make sure to hold our employee accountable.

*Where’d I find all these names? Head on over to Luvvie Ajayi’s post “A Handy Guide to Disrespecting Cheeto Satan From Inauguration and Beyond“.


The Amusing Muse is a model (no shit), writer, blogger, and possessor of a green thumb who can’t help but laugh when her diva cat walks around the house, yowling. Loudly. Also, her dining room is being overtaken by dwarf banana plants in giant pots… she bought special lights just for them.
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Fancy Coffee Friday: Finding Manliness

13-jan-2017

Two Christmases ago I gave my eldest nephew a set of books from the people over at The Art of Manliness. When they arrived, I had flipped through them and thought they looked pretty interesting, so after my nephew opened his gift, I asked to borrow the books when he’d finished reading them. I have had the books in my hot, little hands for some months now, but am only just getting around to reading them. I’m starting with Manvotionals.

As I read selections from historical figures like Marcus Aurelius and Jack London, I was struck at how so much of what these men wrote about seems to be missing from a good portion of the men now. There is an essay, “True Manliness” from “Every-day Religion”, written in 1886 by James Freeman Clarke. I encourage you all to read it in full, but a section that stood out to me were the last two paragraphs:

True manliness is tender and loving; false manliness, cold and hard, cynical and contemptuous. The bravest and most heroic souls are usually the most loving. Garibaldi, Kossuth, Mazzini, the heroes of our times; Luther, who never feared the face of man; Gustavus -Adolphus and William of Orange, are examples of this union of courage and tenderness. Bold as lions in the defense of the right, such men in their homes and their private life have a womanly gentleness. False manliness is unfeeling, with no kindly sympathies, rude and rough and overbearing. True manliness is temperate; it is moderate, it exercises self-control, it is capable of self-denial and renunciation. False manliness is self-willed and self-indulgent…….

True manliness differs also from the false in its attitude to woman. Its knightly feeling makes it wish to defend her rights, to maintain her claims, to be her protector and advocate. False manliness wishes to show its superiority by treating women as inferiors. It flatters them, but it does not respect them. It fears their competition on equal levels, and wishes to keep them confined, not within walls, as in the Mohammedan regions, but behind the more subtle barriers of opinion, prejudice, and supposed feminine aptitudes. True manliness holds out the hand to woman, and says, ” Do whatever you are able to do; whatever God meant you to do. Neither you nor I can tell what that is till all artificial barriers are removed, and you have full opportunity to try.” Manly strength respects womanly purity, sympathy, and grace of heart. And this is the real chivalry of the present hour.

As a woman, I shouldn’t need to point out how those words resonated with me. Here in the USA, and around the globe, the belief that women are inferior continues to be taught and perpetuated. Historically, life was harder and men were called away from hearth and home for various reasons, and it was the women who were left behind to manage the home, the businesses, and ventures. Women, for the most part, were looked to as competent partners, not incompetent ninnies.

And then I read this, “The Character of True Courage” from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics:

The same evils which terrify one person are not formidable to another; though there are some of such an irresistible nature, as to shake the firmest minds, and to inspire fear into all possessed of understanding. But those objects of terror which surpass not the strength of human nature, differing from each other in magnitude, as well as do the grounds of confidence, courage will discriminate between real and apparent dangers and make us meet the former, as brave men aught, unshaken and dauntless, subjecting the instinctive emotions of fear to the dictates of reason and of honor. For we betray our weakness, not only when we fear things really not formidable, but when we are affected in an undue degree, or at an improper time, by objects of real danger. A brave man avoids such errors, and, estimating things by their real worth, prefers the grace and beauty of habitual fortitude to the delusive security of deformed cowardice. Yet he is not less careful to avoid that excess of intrepidity, which, being rarely met with, is like many other vices, without a name; though nothing but madness, or a most stupid insensibility, can make any man preservice, amidst earthquakes and inundations, that unshaken composure, which has been ascribed to the Celts. An overweening estimate of the causes of confidence, and a consequent excess of courage, is called audacity; a boastful species of bravery, and the mere ape of true manhood. What the brave man is, the rash and audacious man wishes to appear; he courts and provokes unnecessary dangers, but fails in the hour of trial; and is, for the most part, a blustering bully, who, under a semblance of pretended courage, conceals no inconsiderable portion of cowardice.

But the complete and genuine coward easily betrays himself, by fearing either things not formidable, or things formidable, in an undue degree; and his failings is the more manifest, because it is accompanied with plain indications of pain; he lives in continual alarm, and is therefore spiritless and dejected; whereas courage warms our breasts, and animates our hopes. Such then is the character of true courage, as opposed to audacity on one hand, and cowardice on the other. It holds the middle place between those vicious extremes; it is calm and sedate; and thought it never provokes danger, is always ready to meet even death in and honourable cause. But to die, rather than endure manfully the pressure of poverty, or the stings of love, or any other cruel suffering, is the part of a coward; who basely flies from an enemy that he has not spirit  to encounter; and ignominiously quits the field, where he might have sustained a strenuous and honourable conflict.

I provide those passages as food for thought to you. Men, women, regardless of how you identify, we can all learn something from those two passages. We really are stronger together than apart. We need to know that we’re partners in life, that we have partners.

Be good to each other. Be virtuous, be courageous.


The Amusing Muse is a Renaissance Woman, a Jane-of-all-Trades, a polymath, who knows a lot about a lot and follows her heart into whatever new interest she has. She is a plant nerd and like The Smothers Brothers, talks to the trees. She does wonder, however, if they actually listen.
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